The advent of Covid-19 has forced workplaces all over the world to change their ways – and businesses have not been the same since. Most businesses have switched to a work-from-home setup, allowing employees to accomplish work from the comfort of their own homes. This, in turn, helps keep the wheels turning during a time in history that will be remembered for its strict physical distancing protocols. While this means that the threat of a severe economic depression is significantly decreased, it also raises some questions about workplace injury laws.
Federal law states that employees that are injured or infected with a disease while at work must be compensated by the employer – but when the workplace is somebody’s house, then where does one draw the line? The quick answer is that the types of injuries or illnesses that can be compensated under law are defined as those “arising out of and in the course of employment”. In other words, an employee can only be eligible for workers’ compensation if their injury is sustained during an activity that is related to the work being done. The injuries covered include those that happen unexpectedly as well as those that develop over a course of time, if it can be proven that these occurred while performing tasks for work.
So, yes – remote workers do qualify for workers’ compensation. For those involved in management, addressing the fact that there is less control over a remote workspace is key when seeking for ways to mitigate the risks of employees getting injured on the job. It is strongly recommended that leaders form new work-from-home policies that clarifies what can be considered “work-related activity”. Make sure to indicate what the proper work hours are and be specific about the different job descriptions for every employee. This would make it much easier to see whether a particular injury should be compensated by the employer.
TukkoMed is the place for updates, news, and tips about workers’ compensation in the great Golden State. Visit our website regularly to stay updated and remember – we are here for all qualified medical evaluators that may need our data processing services.